In September of last year, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce launched a CSR label to increase the profile of responsible business. The idea behind the label is to allow the companies to grow internally and to take their CSR practices to the next level through self evaluation and then as the next step, to provide evidence and receive third party verification.
The Dubai Chamber CSR Label is open to all companies, both large and small operating in any economic sector of Dubai. The applicant has access to the framework for which they can self assess their companies’ level of management in the four impact areas of CSR.
The Dubai Chamber CSR Label will fill the need for recognition of CSR initiatives by companies in order to improve reputation and market presence. The CSR Label is the first voluntary standard on CSR and sustainability tailored to the Middle East, specifically Dubai, UAE. As such, it aims to build a more responsible and sustainable Dubai business community.
In May of this year, the label was conferred to Intercoil International LLC. Intercoil are the leading manufacturer, distributor and retailer of world class sleep systems in the Middle East.
They are based in Dubai, with wholly owned subsidiaries in the GCC and Lebanon. Intercoil manufactures polyurethane foam, furniture and sleep products in 17 countries under three brand names (Intercoil, Simmons and Therapedic), and has fifteen retail outlets in the GCC and Lebanon. Intercoil International’s mission is to provide high-quality products to the local and international market with a vision to become the market leader in orthopedic sleep systems in the Middle East region and the main reference guide on information related to healthy sleep. Today Intercoil International is led by Managing Director, Mr. Hassan Abbas Al-Hazeem, who is passionately committed to transform Intercoil into a global well-structured, professional organization, achieving sustainable growth and continual development.
The company’s CSR focus is to proactively serve the consumer, the society, the environment and the nation. As a leading manufacturer of orthopedic beds and mattresses in the Middle East region using the latest innovative industrial technologies, Intercoil has committed itself to promoting healthy sleep and increasing consumers’ awareness of its importance in contributing to a healthy life. Hence, the company has invested in several marketing and public awareness campaigns, the most recent of which were the “Healthy Sleep Seminar” and the “Healthy Kids Week.”
To give its CSR campaign even more impact, Intercoil also provides internship programs for college students, holds awareness events, provides lectures, presents expert opinions on nutrition and healthy living and extends assistance to the needy. According to the MD, “Intercoil has incorporated CSR in its core ideology, and its goal is to maintain and develop a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with the members of the wider community where it operates.”
Promoting CSR in the Middle-East, a place which is often perceived to be a sustainability black-hole, is indeed an admirable initiative. However it remains unclear what standards the Chamber of Commerce uses as a guideline to confer a label to a company and how it compares to its European counterparts.